15 June 2017. Today in a human chain, 30 right based CSOs have called to government to develop appropriate national protection policy for saving state’s asset and valuable information before any contracting or agreement with profiteering E-Commerce Giant like Alibaba (China) and Amazon.com (US Company). They have also criticize and protested on current initiatives of government Postal & Telecom Division with Alibaba and Amazon.com on so-called e-commencing and concerned that this contracting without any protection policy would be wider of information out flow and resource repatriate rather making profit. They urged govt. to cancel the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) immediately and develop policy for greater interest of state. Regarding the issue of E-Commerce, they have put forward some specific demands are; i. Any bi-lateral agreement or contract related to e-commerce by govt. or state departments will have to make the public, ii. Government must consider the people’s rights and national security issues especially human & information security before going to agreement with e-commerce activities and iii. Govt. will initiate CSO discourse on this issue through participation of expert, academician, media and mass people to build national consensus and developing appropriate protection policies.
The human chain titled “Civil Society called to Develop National Protection Policy before any Contracting with Amazon and Alibaba” is leaded by EquityBD and moderated by Mustafa Kamal Akanda of EquityBD, where spoke by many other representatives among more than 30 participated civil society organization and individuals.
Among the speakers, Syed Aminul Hoque of EquityBD said that Bangladesh is very premature country and we have less, in fact no capacity to face long term negative impact of such e-commerce or online business. Such context, MNCs (Multinational Companies) will get chance to establish their monopolistic business that ultimately looser our country’s economy through tax evasion, resource repatriation and our people & consumers. He urged government to understand the e-commerce issues taking time and develop appropriate protection policies.
Abdul Kader Hajari (Executive Director-Arapn) said that e-commerce is not our issue, this is rich countries like USA, EU and Chinese issue because they have developed hi-tech business. Our issue is sustainable development and reducing poverty. So that we need to create industrialization, create employment but so called e-commerce process will hinder these development issues and increase poverty indeed. Our government should avoid and go with very carefully but that not happen at present.
Nurul Amin (Secretary Jatio Sramik Jote) said that government is facing huge challenges to crate employment whereas e-commerce will facilitate the reverse. Introducing e-commerce will contribute of losing existing job and create new unemployment. We already observe threat for our small scale mass-transport system (e.g. auto rickshaw, CNG etc.) due to giving approval for “Uber” (An online global transport company) to do business in Dhaka and other cities. He demand to review the agreement with Uber. Mr. Subal Sraka of Landless Somiti opined to strengthen govt. institutional capacity to introduce e-commerce by own initiative rather invite foreign profiteering companies that may benefit us.
Moderator said that Bangladesh has a vision to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development by 2030 that would be impossible if e-commerce facilitates through profiteering MNCs. He opined and call government to save peoples’ rights through saving information and people’s asset.
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